Thursday, September 21, 2006

Davis Cup: Russia Shows USA The Door

Updated September 29, 2006

"That's B.S., and you can quote me. Andy's a gentleman to say that, but there are three men in the mix now, make no mistake. I want to give Andy the attitude where he doesn't care who he plays. He's going to be winning Grand Slam titles in a year or two, and hang on for the ride! I hope you enjoy it as much as I'm going to." — Jimmy Connors. God love this man.

1st Singles: Safin def Roddick 6-4 6-3 7-6(5)
2nd Singles: Youzhny def Blake 7-5 1-6 6-1 7-5
Doubles: Bryan/Bryan def Tursunov/Youzhny 6-3 6-4 6-2
1st Reverse Singles: Tursunov def Roddick 6-3 6-4 5-7 3-6 17-15
2nd Reverse Singles: Blake def Safin 7-5 7-6(4)

Russia 3 - USA 2

DOWNLOAD Safin/Roddick match highlights here.

A TORRENT of the entire match can be found here (you need to register first in order to download).

* * *
Sorry for the late update. It wasn't because I was suicidal over the USA's Davis Cup defeat! I am trying to organize my video file collection and am still looking into getting a new host for a photo gallery. At some point this blog will be overhauled completely.

Besides, if USA had beaten Russia on clay it would've been a small miracle. But they tried. Boy, did they try. And once again clay proves to be our kryptonite. I felt terribly for Andy, who fought so hard and so long in his match vs. Tursunov only to fall in the end. A brutal loss, but I loved how much heart and fight he showed. He was clearly very sad about letting his team down. I just hope he can shake it off in time for the indoor season where he could do some serious damage if he put his mind to it.

His next scheduled tournament will be in Vienna. He has pulled out of the Tokyo event (sorry to Andy's loyal Japanese fans but it's best for him to rest and regroup right now).

VCR ALERT! Andy on The Ellen Degeneres Show again Oct. 2nd. This time it will be an actual sitdown interview! Needless to say, I'll tape it and upload a video for those who won't be able to watch it.

* * *
Andy is in People magazine again this week. When you're done reading about his lame lie, hop over to The Tennis Channel's website and vote for Andy in their Hotties Poll. Because dorks are hot!

Is it Pick On The Yanks Week in the UK? Another publication, OK! magazine, came up with this gem (thanks to Kate for the clip):

You Can Stop Sending Your Hate Mail to ACE Magazine Now

ACE Magazine editor Nigel Billen decided he'd had enough e-mail viruses being sent to him from irate Roddick fans so he issued this apology to everyone who contacted him:
Thank you for your email. We have a lot of reaction to our Roddick story as I'm sure you are aware!

I've investigated as far as I can and I'm not convinced we were correct to run the story.

I've too seen the TV clip but I don¹t think it is entirely clear from that what happened. But it certainly doesn¹t prove Andy threw the cards away. We have also heard from fans who witnessed the moment and have contrary recollections to those of our source.

Consequently, we will be apologising to Andy and his fans in the next issue.

Please accept my apologies. We are big fans of Andy at the magazine and the story was intended good naturedly. However, I fully accept that it has caused upset.

Thank you again for getting in touch.

Best wishes,

Mr. Billen ends his letter with postscript saying that he likes my blog and has it bookmarked. I now live in fear of seeing RW named on a "Worst Player Blogs" list in some future issue.

Thanks for the apology, ACE.
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Originally posted September 21, 2006

Davis Cup: USA vs Russia This Weekend

"Some say Roddick is hugely over-rated, that he has only a big serve, but I regard him as one of the top players. It's true that in the past he could not win anywhere else but in the U.S., but he has matured a lot in recent years. He has also improved his baseline play, his backhand has got better too, so he is a complete player now. He is a former world number one and you don't become number one for nothing." — Mikhail Youzhny, genius, who reads books and shit.

DOWNLOAD Safin/Roddick match highlights here.

Safin Opens Against Roddick in Moscow

In a slap-in-the-face to Russia's No. 1 player, Nikolay Davydenko, Marat Safin has been chosen to play Andy Roddick in the first singles match on Friday. A wise decision by Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev, as Davydenko is a combined 0-8 vs Roddick and James Blake. Roddick is 3-2 lifetime against Safin, including wins in their last three meetings. The two former No. 1's haven't met since 2004 and have never squared off in Davis Cup play, nor have they ever played one another on clay.

Mikhail Youzhny will take the No. 1 position for Russia and will face USA's James Blake in the second rubber at the Olympic Stadium.

The draw is as follows:
Singles 1: Marat Safin (RUS) v Andy Roddick (USA)
Singles 2: Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v James Blake (USA)
Doubles: Dmitry Tursunov/Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA)
Reverse Singles 1: Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Andy Roddick (USA)
Reverse Singles 2: Marat Safin (RUS) v James Blake (USA)

Davis Cup TV coverage for North America from Moscow's Olympic Stadium (subject to change):

Friday, Sept. 22:
- 2 p.m. ET, OLN, Live Coverage -- Singles, First Day
- 8 p.m. ET, The Tennis Channel, Prime-Time Replay -- Singles, First Day

Saturday, Sept. 23:
- 2 p.m. ET, OLN, Live Coverage -- Doubles, Second Day
- 8 p.m. ET, The Tennis Channel -- Prime-Time Replay -- Doubles, Second Day

Sunday, Sept. 24:
- 2 p.m. ET, OLN, Live Coverage -- Singles, Third Day
- 8 p.m. ET, The Tennis Channel -- Prime-Time Replay -- Singles, Third Day


Davis Cup News:
• "Mission to Moscow: Davis Cup semifinal preview" []
• "Roddick-Safin Open Davis Cup Semifinal In Moscow" [Tennis Week]
• "Americans, Aussies Try to Find Davis Cup Fire" []
• "Friends Forever: A Davis Cup Squad That's A Real Team" [Davis]
• "Clay Pigeons? It's possible that Russia's choice for Davis Cup surface might backfire" []
• "Fearsome Foursome? Clay Awaits USA in DC Semis" [ESPN]
• "Russians Unhappy With Their Own Choice of Clay" []

ACE Magazine Is In
Deep Doo-Doo

Oh boy, is ACE magazine going to get an earful within the next several days. And rightfully so.

In this month's issue, ACE magazine published:
What a rotter!
"A publicity stunt for Andy Roddick backfired during the opening week. The American was filmed by host broadcaster USA Network graciously accepting birthday cards from young children. Unfortunately for Roddick, who turned 24 on 30 August, the cameras picked him up screwing up the cards and throwing them into a rubbish bin as he walked away." (- page 50...for the benefit of other ACE Magazine readers).

Roddick fans from to MTF were understandably upset by this blurb, coming from an award-winning UK publication no less. The blurb is particularly harmful when you consider Roddick's history of humanitarian work and his charities for children; it was in essence a direct attack against Roddick's character and pretty much everything that he has worked for.

To that end, Roddick fans banded together and quickly put together evidence to refute the egregious charge, starting with the actual video taken from USA Network that ACE claimed showed Roddick throwing the birthday cards away:

We see Roddick doing something with the cards but there is no rubbish bin in view to know for certain if he did indeed toss them or if he just put them in his pocket. My guess is the latter. Why on earth would Andy throw away a fan's birthday cards just seconds after receiving them? Who would be that callous? It defies logic.

Then starr over at MTF gave her eyewitness account of the incident:
I was actually standing a few feet away from this as it actually happened. I worked at the open for about 6 days/nights and USA filmed this for their broadcast (one of the little boys shown was actually the son of a USA staffer, that is why you can see a credential around his neck). I was standing with my crew, and the dad came over kind of excited and said, 'they are going to film my son and his friend giving birthday cards to Roddick, he's so excited.' The few of us headed over from where we were stationed at the President's gate to take a peek.

Andy took the cards, put them in his shorts pocket, and walked back to the president's gate area where he checked in, and went back behind the gate.

It really was all very sweet.

Hate Andy or not, no one would be that stupid to throw those cards away in front of some excited little kids - and I can assure you he did no such thing. I'm suprised ACE mag printed something that really didn't happen. It's a bit disturbing ...

Adding to the mounting evidence, Lara over at had actually taken a picture of Roddick at the exact same time of the incident. She said that the trash cans were on the other side of the court and that Andy did indeed stuff the cards into his pocket, as evidenced here (notice how his right pocket is bulging, and it's not because he's happy to see someone):

So there you have it. I think ACE magazine owes a full apology to Roddick and his team for this bad rumor.

By the way, Roddick's PR people are also going to follow up on this. If you'd like to add your voice to the outrage send an e-mail to:

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